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The LV Situation
This page is 1. a message to potential customers, and then 2. a message to affiliate marketing folk
Potential Customers of LV! You've probably arrived at this page from one or other of the various dedicated pages of an affiliate website. Of course what should have happened is that you would now be looking at the official website of LV. However, because of LV's funny ways of diplomacy with affiliates, there are currently (2011/07) no affiliate links from Zyra's website to LV. We quite like LV and would like to promote them here. Unfortunately, they seem to be being a bit silly, and so they are missing out. That's sad. Of course you are welcome to put in the web address which is www.lv.com and I wish you luck! Alternatively you may like to browse around the many good insurance companies who still have good affiliate links from this website! The thing is, LV, Liverpool Victoria, is an insurance company which has merited being promoted here for many years, but LV is not the only insurance company by a long chalk, and there are many others, for example Churchill , Aviva , Direct Line , Hastings , Post Office Insurance , The AA , Endsleigh ... well I could go on and on, but do you see what I mean? You are the customer, and it's up to you have have a browse through the options and make your choice!
Meanwhile, Affiliate Marketing Folk, I feel it's only right that I pass comment on the LV Situation. I have promoted LV for years, and I have been running this affiliate website for even longer. It's been online since July 2000. I do no PPC, and I don't have those ridiculous voucher codes, and nor do I bribe customers by incentivised leads. Although I reserve the right to send spam, in practice I don't send any because it's such a rotten value form of advertising. The website works by being a Real Content site and doing quite well on natural searches, and by people discovering the site and bookmarking it and browsing around, returning day after day to explore more of the interesting stuff!
Being a Real Content site with plenty of editorial, Freedom of Speech is important! Editorial is not merely advertising, but contains free comment about the companies. Merchant-provided content is published quoted verbatim, but affiliate-commentary is added as appropriate (see Bank of Flibbertigibbet to see the distinction between merchant content and affiliate content). This free-comment approach tends to result in both good and bad comment made about the places. Some firms may feel a bit uneasy about this, but customers love it! They can see honest comment made about the companies, which means it is more believable than typical fashionable hype, which people are numbed-to.
There has been an increasing focus on compliance within the affiliate sector over the past 12 months as independent regulators like the Financial Standards Authority (FSA) and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) - begin to police and monitor the digital space in more detail.
LV= has taken the decision to reduce the size of their affiliate programme in order to increase their control and improve their existing partner relationships. This will allow LV= to monitor more closely the promotional activity, the marketing and exposure of their brand and vastly improve the amount of time and resource dedicated to the affiliate channel.
LV= has chosen a small group of affiliates to represent their brand and has requested that each member becomes either an Introducer Appointed Representative (IAR) or fully registered as an approved member of the FSA.
This approach means that each affiliate will comply with the relevant regulatory requirements and will be seen as a legitimate partner of LV= under the governing body of the FSA.
All LV= programmes (listed below) will be moving to a closed group on XXth April 2011. This means we must request that you remove any current links or creative promoting LV= by the above date. After this date your affiliate links will become inactive but LV= will of course honour any cookie sales made after this period.
Full list of LV= programmes:
- LV = Liverpool Victoria 50 Plus
- LV = Liverpool Victoria Car Insurance
- LV = Liverpool Victoria Home Insurance Company
- LV = Liverpool Victoria Pet insurance
- LV = Liverpool Victoria Travel
- LV= Life Insurance
- Nationwide Annual Travel Insurance
- Nationwide Motor Insurance
- Nationwide Single Travel Insurance
The closed group will not be permanent but if this approach is a success then LV= may in the future reopen the programme and would require you to become a registered member of the FSA or an IAR. To find out more about the IAR process please click here (link to FAQ)
Wed like to thank you for your participation on the LV= programmes and hope you understand the reasoning behind us reducing the account. We have tried to be as transparent as possible and will always leave the door open for those that wish to work with the brand.
If you have any questions regarding this decision then please contact either Rob (Buy.at*) or E (LV*)
* Editorial note: The full names and e-mail addresses have been tactfully censored by the affiliate to avoid the people getting spam and/or other unwelcome attention.
So, what is it about LV? Well, in 2011 LV decided that they wanted all of their affiliates to be regulated, either by being under the auspices of the FSA, or by signing an IAR agreement. If I was going to be cynical about it I'd say they wanted to silence all free speech and free comment, like a dictator stamping out dissidents and critics. However, to try to be fair to LV, it could be that they had got so sick of the misbehaviour of wayward affiliates doing all manner of bad things to try to promote LV in a variety of nefarious ways! I can understand LV wanting to put a stop to bogus voucher codes, the use of cybersquatted domains, PPC impersonating the official LV site, LV's offers being misrepresented, and other dodgy practices. So, I can sympathise with LV to some extent.
However, it is impractical and inappropriate for me to be regulated by the Financial Services Authority. So, anyway, what is an IAR agreement? It is an agreement for an Independent Authorised Representative. That's not quite me. I'm an affiliate, and I'm not "an introducer" as per the FSA's rules. If you want to check on this, have a look at the FSA site and look at Perg 7.4 , especially 7.4.11 , and also see that independent affiliates are legally exempt on account of FSA Exemption Clause 54.
Well there are some things I don't mind signing, and there are things I refuse to sign. See Clauses and Contracts. Essentially, I behave in a way which is fair and reasonable, but I refuse to sign-away my freedom. Freedom is worth more than any commission which LV could pay for sure!
Most financial sector companies, even insurance companies, don't have anything like the restrictiveness. So, respectfully I request LV to stop being so silly!
I have asked LV for their side of the story (2011/07/08), and I am willing to add material to this page. Also, it would be nice to get LV's affiliate links back on this site so they can benefit from the good promotion of LV at this site. LV are mentioned at the following pages: LV , LV Car Insurance , LV Home Insurance , LV 50+ Life Insurance , LV Pet Insurance , LV Travel Insurance , LV Life Insurance. These are connected from pages such as car insurance , home insurance , life insurance , pet insurance and travel insurance and of course they are also in the alphabetical Site Index and various other places within the eight thousand pages of this site! Go on, have an explore around. It is fun.